By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”Chairman of Yala Local Government area, Barrister Fidel Egoro, has averted communal crises in the area by resolving three land disputes among communities.
Barrister Egoro had convened a meeting in his office to address the lingering land disputes among the people of Iwango, Ogor and Wanibuolor in Wanihem ward, those of of Itega Okpami and Oba in Ooâ€™h Ward and communities of Echiaku in Echumofana Ward and their Wonye counterparts in Yache Ward.
He called for harmonious co-habitation among the various communities in the local government area.Â Â Â Â He told members of the communities that if they had been on their guard, the issues that led to discord among them would have been nipped in the bud, as they were not strong enough to bring about crises in the first place.
According to him, â€œin an atmosphere where there is discord, nobody would want to inhabit such a place, let alone investing there.â€
He said he would not allow personal interest among elites in the community to snowball into communal crisis to the detriment of the entire community.
His words:Â â€œIf there is any breakdown of law and order, the state governmentÂ will first hold us responsible because we are the first tier of government and should therefore be capableÂ of maintaining the peace in our areas.
â€œMay I assure you that we, as a government, are not here to take sides, our interest is that peace should reign among our communitiesâ€.
Issues were addressed on ward bases at the meetings which held in batches and after prolonged proceedings, all the disputes were resolved.
While the people of Oba and Itega Okpmi agreed to withdraw cases pending in court, the people of Wanihem resolved to turn the disputed land to a development centre.
Similarly, the people ofÂ Wonye and EchiakpuÂ agreed to use the disputed land for farming without planting economic trees which will introduce permanent ownership of the land by an individual or community.